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Finance Market Outlook

Guidance for the Draft of One-Week Forward Looking Stock Market Piece

Note: We will revise this in class on Tuesday.

Next week’s assignment should follow this structure roughly:


U.S. stock prices (or whichever index you choose) are likely to [move in what direction? Rise? Fall? Is the move likely to be large or small?] this week. The market ended

Nut graph: aka the “so what” graph

            Why should we keep reading? Tell us what people are paying most attention to. i.e. Investors are expected to focus on [tktkt indicator, event, corporate earnings etc.]

Background: A few lines for context.

            The [anticipated trend] follows record highs etc.

Break out some details that may not move the broad index but are worth watching and ideally connect with–or if you’re a contrarian, contradict–the trend.

  1. Use as a reference point today’s (9/28) close.
  2. The time frame is through the end of next week 10/5.
  3. Look up the scheduled major indicators and political events that could affect the market. A calendar of indicators is at this link. You can also cite the surveys of economists.

  1. Interview at least one person. (do not need to do this)
  2. Other resources, bank economic analysis such as Morgan Stanley’s “Ideas” page

Or S&P’s Market Intelligence

If you find a good resource, email the link to me and I’ll share it with the class.

  1.    See below for how to quote sources–ID by name and employer; give day of interview or publication 
  2. –Interviews: “I expect the market will do ttktktktk,” said Maria Vargas, chief economist at Banco Santander in New York in an interview.

Quoting a bank or analyst report: “The trend has been up, but now it will be down,” said John Smith, bank sector analyst for JPMorgan Chase in his report, “Why What Goes Up Must Come Down.”

Quoting an analyst on TV: “What goes up must come down,” said John Smith, bank sector analyst in an interview on MSNBC Friday.

Quoting news report:  The Washington Post reported Tuesday that “tktkt….”

  1.         -DO NOT quote the Wall Street Journal’smarket comment or Bloomberg’s market comment. They are not sources for our purposes. Yes, of course, read them to orient and inform yourself, but when you’re writing a piece like this, do your own work.




How to Edit Like a Pro


Lead: Does the first graph tell us the piece looks forward over one week?

-Does it have a clear reference point? i.e. market is expected to go up/down from what level, when? Is this a continuation of the trend, a pause, or a reversal?

2nd graph/Nut graph: Do we want to keep reading?

-Does this graph tell us what investors/analysts/fund managers are paying attention to?

3rd graph:Do we understand what happened the previous week and why?

-does the writer state the context succinctly or get lost in the background?

-do we return to a forward focus?


Does the piece make sense? Does each sentence make sense? Do the words mean something specific and concrete?

Grammar? Syntax? Spelling?




  1. Does the writer mention the major economic, market-movingpolitical, or market issues coming up this week?
  2. Is news summarized correctly?



  1. Are opinions attributed?
  2. Are sources ID’ed properly? Name, position, company and how info was obtained—interview, analyst’s report etc., TV interview. Quotes?
  3. Does the writer stay in the background? (i.e. no first person or colloquial diction)
  4. Are abbreviations spelled out on first reference? (Exception: U.S.)
  5. Are numbers clear? Is there a balance between summary and detail?
  6. Public figures identified on first reference by full name and title and/or description. French President Emmanuel Macron… Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,  etc.


  1. Does the writer use plain language, avoiding market jargon and passive verbs?
  2. How does she/he characterize the market ? i.e.The market isn’t a person. It doesn’t get disappointed or have a great day. The market is millions of investors and fund managers simultaneously buying or selling.
  3. See above: The market isn’t a sports team. It doesn’t win or lose. (Yes, stock prices lose value, but not a race or game.)
  4. From an investor’s point of view, a rising market isn’t necessarily “good” or a falling one “bad.” It depends on your position. If you bought low, you want the market to rise. If you’re short—i.e. you sold borrowed stock, you want it to go down. A strong dollar helps U.S. importers of foreign goods (those goods are cheaper in dollar terms), and hurts exporters of U.S. goods (they’re more expensive for foreign buyers.)


Last Updated on February 11, 2019

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